MythForce Review

MythForce wears its inspirations on its sleeves with a deep love and nostalgia for relics of a bygone TV era. The likes of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe or GI Joe once reigned supreme on Saturday mornings but these days, as their primary demographic has aged and become the creators, the genre is in the midst of a renaissance. He-Man and She-ra are both on Netflix, TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is crossing box office milestones, and Transformers never really left. And now MythForce is here. Unlike the others, MythForce isn’t relying on an established franchise, but is rather paying tribute to the work that inspired it. Unfortunately, the finished product doesn’t quite manage to capture the essence of its inspiration, aside from a few examples. It also feels unfinished in several respects, presents repetitive environments and enemies, and lacks the build depth that a roguelike should deliver.

Upon launching MythForce and being treated to a pretty great cartoon cutscene, players are dumped into a hub world, or more accurately, a hub screen. With little to no direction, players will eventually discover that the handful of structures before them are vendors offering a variety of upgrades. There’s no world setup or proper tutorials – nothing to point the way or ease players in, aside from some text explanations that can only be accessed by clicking a small question mark icon once inside each shop.

From the hub, one of four characters is chosen, and friends can be invited to join for up to four-player co-op. Players can select from levels they’ve unlocked, or choose quickplay. There’s no explanation of how quickplay works exactly, but players will discover that it adds them to any ongoing level with random online participants. The main story progression, if it can be called that, plays out over a series of nine levels, cut into 3 chapters. Chapters each contain three procedurally generated levels, the third culminating in a showdown with a dastardly cartoon villain. Heroes will find accessories and buffs that persist only to the level’s end, along with money and other resources that are saved and go toward long-term progression.

When players embark on the first level of a chapter, another animated sequence plays. They’re campy, janky, and absolutely perfect. These brief vignettes, along with the game’s spot-on theme song, are delightfully-realized tributes to the awesome 80s cartoons that breathed life into MythForce. These elements truly make the game feel like what it was meant to be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Nowhere else does MythForce look or sound like a corny cartoon. Sure, characters are cel-shaded, giving them that animated look, but the world around them is a totally different art style, making it all feel disconnected. The environments often feel empty, flat, and unsurprising.

The levels consist of around 15 floors each. Most are combat encounters, with the occasional shop or safe area littered with chests. Shops sell buffs and accessories in exchange for gold; however, long-term progression in MythForce also relies on gold, so players have to decide between immediate and delayed benefits. The combat encounters are all the same, excluding boss fights. Three waves of enemies must be defeated, and then the path forward opens.

There’s simply not enough variation here. At around the halfway mark, and at a level’s conclusion, different events take place, but all the action in between feels very repetitive. In fact, repetition is the game’s biggest fault. With only a small handful of floor layouts, players will see them over and over. There’s one trap, and it’s in every level, almost every floor: a gargoyle head spewing elemental damage. A certain style of breakable pot is sometimes a sneaky enemy, but it’s always the exact same style of pot. Surprising the first couple of times, but that’s it. No, this isn’t a Groundhog Day time loop, it’s just another identical square room.

The action is all in first person. Ranged combat feels better than melee, where the distances and hit boxes are a little wonky. Players might be sure they dodged a sword or escaped the impact zone of a spell, only to suffer the damage anyway. Fighting at a distance is a smoother experience, especially if playing with mouse and keyboard. Using a bow or slinging spells is fun and headshots always feel good. Two characters can equip spell books, and the three options – ice, lightning, or fire – all have an additional effect that helps mix things up.

MythForce, for its part, does offer a good variety of perks and enchantments, and the selection varies depending on the chosen character and weapons. The accessories are a different story, with only a handful of options that players will see repeatedly. At lower tiers, many of these accessories offer negligible bonuses, so it’s really down to the perks and weapon enchantments to offer meaningful variety.

Players will collect glyphs and gold, both necessary for permanent advancement. Glyphs are shared between characters, but frustratingly, gold is not. The reasoning here isn’t totally clear, and it only results in lengthening the resource grind. The hub vendors can be upgraded to four tiers by offering up glyphs where higher tiers mean a higher level of upgrades sold. Unfortunately, most of this isn’t very impactful. The amount of gold and glyphs needed to buy upgrades will result in a lot of grinding for little effect, especially if players are aiming for the higher tiers. Almost completely ignoring the other vendors, it’s very possible to dump everything into weapon upgrades and simply rely on brute force to make it through the game.

From start to finish, MythForce is a fairly short affair. Players can unlock harder difficulties that yield more rewards, but these don’t seem to offer anything truly new, just tougher enemies. But since the levels are so repetitive, simply upping the challenge is not enough to inspire multiple runs.

Some of the problems in MythForce could be forgiven if the core loop stayed fresh and fun, but, sadly, it doesn’t. And with services like Game Pass offering up several solid roguelikes, it’s tough to justify the $29.99 price tag. Yet, the core idea of an 80s cartoon homage is a lot of fun, and a couple elements of the game succeed brilliantly. A project like this could only have been birthed out of passion, so hopefully MythForce has its day in the sun. The developer has stated it plans to support the game going forward, and further content has been hinted at. But in its current state, there’s just not enough to recommend MythForce, both in terms of quantity and quality.


Inspired by beloved Saturday morning cartoons, MythForce unites swords & sorcery with gripping 1st-person combat in a new roguelike adventure.

MythForce is available now on PC, PS5, Switch, an Xbox Series X/S. Game Rant was provided a PC code for this review.

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